Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Ezekiel Elliott, Martin Luther, and Your Soul

Ezekiel Elliott, Martin Luther, and Your Soul – “On October 31, 1517, an unknown monk in a small village nailed a document to the door of the town church.” The end of this article has a detailed retelling of a great church history story.

Leverage Halloween to Love Your Neighbors

Leverage Halloween to Love Your Neighbors – “Halloween gives Christians a unique opportunity to welcome our neighbors.”

Here He Stood: Martin Luther (1483–1546)

Here He Stood: Martin Luther (1483–1546) – “One of the great rediscoveries of the Reformation — especially of Martin Luther — was that the word of God comes to us in the form of a book, the Bible. Luther grasped this powerful fact: God preserves the experience of salvation and holiness from generation to generation by means of a book of revelation.”

Why Me, Cruel World?

Why Me, Cruel World? – “I can’t tell you how many times I have heard someone who is in deliberate sin say, ‘I just don’t know why God is doing this to me.’” 

Three Reasons You Should Go Trick or Treating

Three Reasons You Should Go Trick or Treating “Halloween can be a time to be on mission and build relationships that will deepen throughout the year.” 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Don’t Waste the Darkness: Three Truths Halloween Teaches Us

Don’t Waste the Darkness: Three Truths Halloween Teaches Us – “If the gospel is true, then there really can be a happy Halloween.”

The Will of God Never Misfires

The Will of God Never Misfires – “The resurrection means God’s will never misfires, even when it feels like it might be doing so. Look, then, and behold the sign—the Son of Man who has come to take away the sting of death and the sins of the world.”

4 Ways to Spot a Bitter Root

4 Ways to Spot a Bitter Root – “It's no accident that God uses the image of a weed to describe a particular sin that has a way of creeping into all of our hearts . . . bitterness.”

No Book is More Astonishing

No Book is More Astonishing – “There are many books on my shelf, and far too many have been neglected. But there is one book, out of all of them, that I fear neglecting: My Bible.”

Why Should I Go to Church?

Why Should I Go to Church? “There are a million good things you and I could do that would hinder us from locking arms with God’s people.”

God’s Alarm

God’s Alarm“This may happen under the preaching of the gospel, or a simple few words from a faithful witness, or from reading the bible, or one of many other means that God uses as His alarm. The person is dramatically awakened from his or her spiritual death.”

Sunday, October 29, 2017

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God – Martin Luther wrote some forty songs during the Protestant Reformation. The most famous of those was “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”. Our English version was translated from the original German over 300 years later. The original had a stronger message. Here’s a comparison.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

You Can Loosen Your Grip on the Future

You Can Loosen Your Grip on the Future “A group of women recently gathered in my living room for a Bible study on the Lord’s Prayer. The words ‘Your will be done’ sat on our tongues like cough syrup that wouldn’t budge (Matthew 6:10). We had numerous objections.”

Fixing Irritations That Come Between Us in Marriage

Fixing Irritations That Come Between Us in Marriage – “Isn’t it usually the day-to-day, wash-the-toothpaste-down-the-sink, close-the-toilet-seat kind of irritations about living with someone that can drive us crazy? It’s funny, but you can love someone deeply and still become easily bothered by the simple act of sharing space with them.”

3 Things Every Christian Should Know About the Reformation

3 Things Every Christian Should Know About the Reformation – There is a lot being written regarding the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Here are some simple thoughts.

Are Pro-Lifers Being Inconsistent if They Save the Mother’s Life Rather than the Baby’s?

Are Pro-Lifers Being Inconsistent if They Save the Mother’s Life Rather than the Baby’s?“What response should one give to pro-choice advocates who claim pro-lifers don’t really believe the unborn has equal value to the born because we’re willing to sacrifice the unborn if the mother’s life is in danger?”

Friday, October 27, 2017

Where Is God When Times Are Tough?

Where Is God When Times Are Tough? – “All of us know that we will encounter difficulties along the way, and believe that we are ready for it, but recent experience has shown me that expectation is not necessarily enough to prepare ourselves for stormy times.”

10 Bible Verses to Strengthen You As You Wait

10 Bible Verses to Strengthen You As You Wait – “The waiting game is the least fun game to play.”

If Only

If Only – “Either way, we must take care with our regrets, because, whether based on something real or fantastic, they can erode our faith in God by subtly shifting our faith from God to our regrets — and that is truly regrettable.”

Formed with the Flick of His Finger

Formed with the Flick of His Finger “If you’re going to be amazed at cinematography, look around or get a telescope.”

Love People More Than Your Country

Love People More Than Your Country – “Our duty with the Gospel lifts us beyond nationalism and patriotism. Not better than, but more complete. We should see every person as a soul created by a loving God who can heal the brokenness inside, no matter what that is. The Gospel teaches us to love all nations equally because God sent His Son to be the Savior of the world, and to rescue a people for himself from every corner of the globe.”

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Great Divide (in the Church) in 2016, and Why It Still Matters – “It is one thing to differ and debate cultural issues, and even values, but it is another to judge a person’s standing with God based on which candidate he or she supported.”

The Great Divide (in the Church) in 2016, and Why It Still Matters“It is one thing to differ and debate cultural issues, and even values, but it is another to judge a person’s standing with God based on which candidate he or she supported.” – “It is one thing to differ and debate cultural issues, and even values, but it is another to judge a person’s standing with God based on which candidate he or she supported.”

The Stupidity of Sin

The Stupidity of Sin – “Everyone who knows the Bible, knows people, or knows his own heart, knows this to be true: sin makes us stupid.”

How God Performs Surgery on Our Hearts

How God Performs Surgery on Our Hearts – “Here we learn of the power of Scripture to perform surgery where true change begins — in the invisible, immaterial heart.”

Benefits of Singing Psalms

Benefits of Singing Psalms – There are a lot of ways to worship in song. Singing Psalms is one way and there are some special benefits that go with it.

The Attractional Church’s Trojan Rabbit

The Attractional Church’s Trojan RabbitThis is the reason why churches have to engage in reaching beyond their walls with the Gospel.

Jesus Died for More Than Your Decision

Jesus Died for More Than Your Decision – “If all you have is a decision for Christ and no delight in Christ, you don’t have Christ.”

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Research Reveals the 5 Biggest Influencers on Your Child’s Spiritual Health

Research Reveals the 5 Biggest Influencers on Your Child’s Spiritual Health “The study analyzed 2,000 Protestant adults who finished their parenting journey with one or more kids now between 18-30. The study looked at faith characteristics of those kids now, all grown up, and looked at the parenting practices and habits of the children as they were growing up… I am going to briefly offer the top five. If you care for your kid’s spiritual journey, this research is gold:”

Here’s What Christians Should Be Busy Protesting

Here’s What Christians Should Be Busy Protesting “Needless to say, protesting these five things won’t get local news coverage or an article in the New York Times.  But, regardless of whatever else we might protest, we cannot fail to protest these five things lest we lose the heart and soul of the Christian faith.”

Scripture Is Our Personal Trainer

Scripture Is Our Personal Trainer – The usefulness of the Scriptures is demonstrated by four of its life-training functions: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16–17).

The American Priest Who Proved the Reformation is Not Over

The American Priest Who Proved the Reformation is Not Over – As we remember the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation: “As we stood there, we grieved in watching people, one by one, begin their ascension up the steps, praying to Mary to honor the promise that the Pope and Cardinals gave–that they who go up the steps will receive pardon for sin.”

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

25 Bible Reading Tips

25 Bible Reading Tips – If you need help getting started or just want to add a fresh experience, here are some suggestions.

Here’s What They Grabbed

Here’s What They Grabbed“Fire evacuees had minutes, or seconds, to save memories. There are all kinds of things to consider in this brief story.

10 Qualities of Scripture Which Testify of its Ability to Transform Us from the Inside Out

10 Qualities of Scripture Which Testify of its Ability to Transform Us from the Inside Out – Here are several lessons to be learned about the value of God’s word from Psalm 19.

Five Parenting Myths I Used to Believe

Five Parenting Myths I Used to Believe“The few hours between arriving home from work and putting the kids to bed will be the most challenging, and often the most rewarding, of my day. Raising children frequently brings me face to face with my own ignorance, foolishness, and inadequacies. My children presented me with problems I never anticipated, disobey in ways I never imagined, and bless me in ways I only dared to dream.”

10 Things You Should Know about the 144,000 in the Book of Revelation

10 Things You Should Know about the 144,000 in the Book of Revelation – “Will the debate ever end about the identity of the 144,000 servants in Revelation 7? Perhaps not, but I hope these ten truths will contribute something to our understanding of who they are and what they do.”

Harvey Weinstein and the Crisis of Masculinity

Harvey Weinstein and the Crisis of Masculinity – “This crisis of masculinity is an old tale — an old tragedy — since time immemorial. It plagues the left and the right. And all of us men would be hopelessly caught in this sin, had it not been for another King, one greater than David, who could meet a vulnerable woman at a remote well, not to take advantage of her, but to give her eternal joy.”

Monday, October 23, 2017

His Mercy Is More

His Mercy Is More – Here’s a new song that blessed me this morning.

The 7 Deadly Sins of Political Junkies

The 7 Deadly Sins of Political Junkies – Bruce Ashford writes on the ways "we are tempted to commit those sins in our political interactions." He also provides biblical ways we can overcome temptation. 

The Wounds of a Friend

The Wounds of a Friend“Proverbs says, Faithful are the wounds of a friend. Sometimes, we need friends who will be that surgeon. Not just someone to hold our hand or whisper soothing words, but someone who will confront the tumor and battle with us to destroy it.”

Here’s How To Save Your Family From Technology Creep

Here’s How To Save Your Family From Technology Creep – “I consulted some parents, asking for their advice and input on setting aside family time and pushing away devices. Here’s what some of them said.”

Children Of My Own

Children Of My Own – “When we stand before the judgment seat of God, it won’t be our DNA that gets us into heaven, but the blood of another. The question isn’t one of heredity, but of authority.” This is a good word on adoption.

Friendship is Not a Two-Way Street

Friendship is Not a Two-Way Street“Maybe the friendship has run its course. Not all friendships are forever, and friendships wane in intensity. But I urge you to not give up too quickly. What if Jesus decided he was going to stop pursuing us because he wasn’t getting anything out of the relationship?”

The Spirit Always Works through the Word

The Spirit Always Works through the Word“It’s important that we wrestle with what’s going on in our culture, the shifts in beliefs and behaviors especially. But if anyone is going to make a convincing argument on why Christians need to change their views on a number of key controversial issues, it’s not going to be pitting the Spirit against Scripture.”

Saturday, October 21, 2017

8 Signs Your Christianity Is Too Comfortable

8 Signs Your Christianity Is Too Comfortable – C. S. Lewis once said, “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.”

Why the Local Church Really Matters

Why the Local Church Really Matters – “As we prepare to worship God tomorrow, it may do us good to pause for just a few moments to consider the local church. What is the church? Why has God called us into these little communities? Does the local church really matter?”

The Red Sea in Front of Me: Reaching for God in Despair

The Red Sea in Front of Me: Reaching for God in Despair – “So how do we respond when we see no way out, no hope this side of heaven? We need to see, stand, and trust.”

How To Talk To Your Kids About Human Dignity

How To Talk To Your Kids About Human Dignity – “As Christian parents, it is important we teach our kids the truth about who they are, who God is, and about their place in the mission of God. One important piece of this role is to teach and talk to our kids about what it means to be human and to see the humanity of others.”

4 Myths that Keep College Students from Joining a Church

4 Myths that Keep College Students from Joining a Church – I found these to be true during my years in college ministry and they are even more true today. They keep students for growth and from connecting with a church as adults.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Fishers of Men

Fishers of Men – “My experience has shown me that the words are familiar to the church, but the actual work perhaps not so much. How might we better understand the words so the work can be more accessible to us?”

At Least as Dangerous as Porn

At Least as Dangerous as Porn“Not to diminish the dangers of sexual sin (1 Corinthians 6:9–11), but have you ever noticed that the New Testament issues more dire warnings against the spiritual dangers of material prosperity than sexual immorality? Jesus didn’t say it’s harder for a sexually immoral person to get into heaven than a camel to squeeze through a needle’s eye. He said it about rich people. And most people who read this live in one of the richest nations in the history of the world.”

American Daily Routine

American Daily Routine – This was an interesting visual. How are you using your days?

God’s Revealed Truth Is Something We Discover, Not Invent

God’s Revealed Truth Is Something We Discover, Not Invent – “He reveals it to us in His word.”

Who Should Teach Your Kids—Harvey or Hildebrand?

Who Should Teach Your Kids—Harvey or Hildebrand?“As the Harvey Weinstein scandal rumbles on, it is clear that no amount of money donated to liberal causes will purchase him a ‘get out of jail free’ card. Even in an amoral age such as ours, sexual assault can prove an unforgivable sin.”

Thursday, October 19, 2017

3 Questions To Ask As Soon As Your Work-Life Balance Starts Slipping

3 Questions To Ask As Soon As Your Work-Life Balance Starts Slipping – “Sometimes it’s because you have more work to do. But other times it’s because your habits and preferences have come into conflict without you realizing it.”

Four Suggestions for Reading the Minor Prophets

Four Suggestions for Reading the Minor Prophets – The Minor Prophets can be difficult reading as you read through the Bible. Here are some suggestions for making the most of that journey.

Pride Will Kill Me

Pride Will Kill Me – “Pride refuses to recognize God as the supreme provider and treasure. Pride is trusting in lesser treasure to provide greater pleasure. I see it in Adam. I see it in Israel. I see it in the church. I see it in me.”

Sola Scriptura Demands Inerrancy

Sola Scriptura Demands Inerrancy – “So what is sola scriptura? It means that only the Bible—because it is God’s inspired Word—is our inerrant, sufficient, and final authority. This definition entails three implications related to authority.”

4 Truths You Must Believe About God’s Righteousness

4 Truths You Must Believe About God’s Righteousness – This is a helpful doctrinal journey through a key biblical teaching taken from Romans 3:21-26.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Light at the End of Ourselves

The Light at the End of Ourselves – “I’m weary—body, mind, and soul. Weary of waiting, weary of fighting for joy, weary of hoping for better days. If I’m honest, a sense of despair has increasingly clouded my view of life and left me wondering if the darkness will ever lift.”

How to Translate John 3:16 “Literally” (Video)

How to Translate John 3:16 “Literally” (Video) – This is a good explanation of why it’s just not that helpful to speak of “literal” Bible translations.

Joy at the Table

Joy at the Table – As we prepare to celebrate the Lord’s Supper together on Sunday, here are some good reminders of its message.

4 Practical Reasons to Read the Bible with Our Kids

4 Practical Reasons to Read the Bible with Our Kids – There are a lot of benefits flowing from this simple family activity.

Glory Thief

Glory Thief“But quietly. Inwardly. Stealthily. I crave glory. It has many names: recognition, fame, influence, usefulness, and faithfulness. Almost any positive regard will do as camouflage for a glory thief. The more respectable the term, the better it cloaks from men what God sees perfectly.”

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sola Scriptura: A Scripture-Alone Life

Sola Scriptura: A Scripture-Alone LifeThis quote alone makes the post worthwhile. “Scripture over us—authority. Under us—promises. In us—Bible intake. Through us—obedience and guidance. Sola Scriptura. Let’s be doctrinally right but let’s make sure right doctrine leads to right living.”

My Struggle to Smash the Food Idol

My Struggle to Smash the Food Idol – “Even if every meal plan, diet, or ‘lifestyle modification’ you’ve ever attempted has failed you, Jesus won’t.”

The Spread of the Gospel

The Spread of the Gospel – This short video illustrated the spread of the Gospel.

6 Truths About Weak Faith And Little Prayers

6 Truths About Weak Faith And Little Prayers – Paul Tripp reflects on faith and prayer from Acts 12.

How Should We Approach Debt?

How Should We Approach Debt?“One hundred years ago, debt was regarded as an earned privilege for the few. Now it’s seen as an inalienable right for all. Borrowing has become an integral part of our lives.”

Is It Really God Speaking to You?

Is It Really God Speaking to You? – “‘I’ve prayed about this and I really feel like God told me that it would be okay.’ Those were the words that I heard when a young lady informed me that she was leaving her husband in order to live with another dude. She was happier with the other guy. She knew that God didn’t want her to be unhappy and so as she prayed that voice in her head confirmed that she had permission from the Almighty.”

Monday, October 16, 2017

Selfies at Niagara

Selfies at Niagara – There are several good applications for this brief devotional thought.

5 Things Not to Do in Your Marriage

5 Things Not to Do in Your Marriage“Even though earthly romance will always be imperfect, God transforms us with abundant grace and gospel hope as we live life alongside our spouse. As we navigate the joys and the struggles of the marriage relationship, here are five things not to do…”

6 Things Christ Does With Your Sin

6 Things Christ Does With Your Sin – It is good to remember what the cross accomplishes.

Sola Fide—A Doctrine To Be Beaten Into Your Head Continually

Sola Fide—A Doctrine To Be Beaten Into Your Head Continually – “Do not give into the subtle temptation to embrace justification by faith alone, yet try and do life and ministry in the flesh alone.”

Fighting Sin With Love

Fighting Sin With Love Love of God and love of our neighbor are the means by which we can overcome sin. Trillia Newbell shares a reflection on 1 Corinthians 13 on combating sin with love. 

Grace for Holiness

Grace for Holiness – “Grace propels us toward holiness. It does not lessen its pursuit.”

Is It Wrong to Try to Persuade Others to Change Their Beliefs?

Is It Wrong to Try to Persuade Others to Change Their Beliefs? – “There are at least seven reasons why seeking to change a friend’s mind is not only justified, but a vital tenet of life together in a pluralistic society.”

Saturday, October 14, 2017

How to Train Your Dragons: Killing Pet Sins Before They Kill You

How to Train Your Dragons: Killing Pet Sins Before They Kill You – “Sin is not a pet to be walked several times a week. It is a lion, a wolf, a bear. It bites and hunts at will. It attacks as a piranha. It is a restless evil lit ablaze by the fires of hell.”

Trickle-Down Evangelism

Trickle-Down EvangelismAre disciples becoming disciple-makers?

4 Lessons for Christians from the Harvey Weinstein Scandal

4 Lessons for Christians from the Harvey Weinstein Scandal“It’s tempting to mock the movie industry for such blatant hypocrisy. They frequently preach to us about their superior values; meanwhile, they were overlooking abuse in their midst. But instead of gloating we should consider what we as Christians might learn from the horrific, decades-long cover-up.”

The Road to Hollywood

The Road to Hollywood – Nathan Eshelman makes the observation, “The church and the culture at large need to reconsider whether Hollywood ought to be telling us how to think and feel about sexual ethics. Have they earned the right to speak into our lives about what is right and wrong in the bedroom? Maybe there’s a better source for determining human sexuality than those who walk the red carpet.”

We Are Equally Sinful. We Are Not All Equally Broken or Toxic

We Are Equally Sinful. We Are Not All Equally Broken or Toxic.“Let me begin with the first sentence of the title: ‘We are all equally sinful.’ Whatever distinctions we make later in this post in no way imply that anyone needs Jesus-on-steroids or a double dose of atonement.”

Friday, October 13, 2017

Jesus Was A Disciple Maker, What About You?

Jesus Was A Disciple Maker, What About You? – “The Bible makes no real distinction between a Christian and a disciple-maker. Even though much of our population still claims to be Christian, disciple-makers are rare. Modern Christianity has indoctrinated many to see disciple-making as an option rather than the way that Jesus taught us.”

7 Things Your Church Needs From You

7 Things Your Church Needs From YouHere are 7 things your church needs from you.

Something Better Than the Land

Something Better Than the Land“Esau got his land right then, Jacob never got it in his lifetime. At first glance, it can seem like Esau is the favored one, the blessed one. It looks like he wins. He isn’t sent into slavery. He doesn’t wander in the desert. He doesn’t face enemies on every side (as far as we know). He gets the land immediately. He gets his best life now.”

Be a Boaz in Your Business

Be a Boaz in Your Business – “If you’re a man blessed with authority and influence in the workplace, use it to protect and empower women. As you do so, you follow in the footsteps of not just Boaz, but Boaz’s greatest son, Jesus Christ.”

7 Lies Culture Tells Us About Love and Romance

7 Lies Culture Tells Us About Love and Romance – “Regardless of your position in life’s journey—married, dating, single, whatever—tuning out the cultural lies about love, romance and sex is essential to experiencing healthy relationships and, in particular, healthy marriages.”

How to Teach Kids to Understand the Bible

How to Teach Kids to Understand the Bible – “When we hand our kids a Bible, there are two foundational truths to give them along with it.”

You Were Created for More than Motherhood

You Were Created for More than Motherhood“What we call motherhood–training and raising and caring for children–is fleeting, just like everything else. It doesn’t last forever, this phase of life. Children grow and they change and you grow and you change, and then they begin a new life out in this great big world.” 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Our Three Neighborhoods

Our Three Neighborhoods“We all need a nudge to help us identify who our priorities are. God is not silent or subtle on who deserves our time and attention first.”

Before Time Began, Jesus Was

Before Time Began, Jesus Was“Jesus was there not only before matter; he was there before time. He did not come into being; he just was.”

Should a Couple Be Financially Stable before Getting Married?

Should a Couple Be Financially Stable before Getting Married?“The Bible makes a distinction between what is required and what is desired for a Christian considering marriage. Of course, it is desirable for a couple to be financially stable before they marry, but is financial stability a biblical requirement?”

How (Other) People Change: Walking with Loved Ones Through Five Stages

How (Other) People Change: Walking with Loved Ones Through Five Stages – “Parents, friends, and church family often find themselves in this precarious position. Someone we know and love is in sin’s grip. We agonize over whether the help we might offer will help them find freedom, or just drive them further away.”

Welcome Everyone, Affirm No One

Welcome Everyone, Affirm No One – “The trouble is, grace is unimaginable in a world where everyone believes grace is deserved. And when grace is transformed into entitlement, the definitions change, for both those inside and outside the church.”

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Craving God’s Peace in a Season of Storms and Stormy Attitudes

Craving God’s Peace in a Season of Storms and Stormy Attitudes – “When did meaningful dialogue get supplanted with grenade-throwing diatribe? It feels like a partisan dance between angry sharks and ravenous piranha. All the vitriol, rancor, and contempt are wearing us down and out.”

He Remains Faithful

He Remains Faithful – “Who doesn’t desire to be faithful in their ministry to the local church, at their job and to their friends? We all do, at least to some degree. But the point of the Christian life is not to live perfectly. It’s to lean completely on our perfect Savior who in every way remains faithful.”

God Wounds Us Because He Loves Us

God Wounds Us Because He Loves Us – “Often the love we need most is the love we want least. The love feels so harsh, so blunt, so unpleasant in the moment that we often don’t even recognize it as love.”

5 Ways To Pray For Persecuted Saints

5 Ways To Pray For Persecuted Saints – Mark Altrogge provides some pointers on praying for the persecuted church.

8 Questions to Help You Understand and Apply the Bible

8 Questions to Help You Understand and Apply the Bible – One way to study the Bible is to read a passage and then ask questions. The answers form clear applications of your reading.

Ten Brief Lessons on the Ten Commandments

Ten Brief Lessons on the Ten Commandments – “Many Christians tend to have an uneasy relationship with God’s law. Often, wrong perceptions interfere with a clear understanding about the Ten Commandments. To help, here are ten brief lessons regarding the Decalogue.”

How to Resolve Most Relational Conflict

How to Resolve Most Relational Conflict – “Pride is the enemy inside us that speaks to us like a friend. Its counsel sounds so much like self-protection, preservation, and promotion that we’re often blinded to the fact that it’s destroying us and others.” 

Do Christians Have to Care About Everything?

Do Christians Have to Care About Everything?“Why don’t you care? In our age of perpetual outrage, that may be one of the most commonly asked questions. After all, the list of needs and worthy causes are unending. Should we not be expected to voice impassioned concern for every problem and enthusiastic support for every good cause?”

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Real Turning Point in the Prodigal Son Story

The Real Turning Point in the Prodigal Son Story – The turning point is not the pigpen, it’s the Father’s embrace.

How to Resolve Most Relational Conflict

How to Resolve Most Relational Conflict – “Few things sap more of our joy, are as emotionally demanding and mentally distracting, as relational conflict. And few things wreak as much havoc and destruction on lives as relational conflict. And so much of it is avoidable.”

A Three-Step Strategy for Fighting Sin – Here is a three-step strategy for fighting sin and prevailing over it in your Christian life.

A Three-Step Strategy for Fighting SinHere is a three-step strategy for fighting sin and prevailing over it in your Christian life.

Do You Wake Up Discontent?

Do You Wake Up Discontent? – “Is it possible to be content in all things?”

Are We Failing to Teach Our Kids Civics?

Are We Failing to Teach Our Kids Civics? – “Freedom of religion and freedom of speech have fallen on hard times among American young people. In fact, some polls indicate that teenagers are increasingly likely to approve of the use of force when freedom of speech causes trouble.”

Three Questions To Improve Your Self-Awareness

Three Questions To Improve Your Self-Awareness – While written for church leaders, this has good applications for us all.

Monday, October 9, 2017

10 Reasons You Can Have Hope For The Future

10 Reasons You Can Have Hope For The FutureWhen things that we don't understand happen around us, it can be easy to lose heart. Mark Altrogge writes about 10 truths that we can hold on to when we feel hopeless.

Hypocrisy on Display in Hollywood and in Politics

Teaching Our Children to Treasure Jesus Starts with Us

Teaching Our Children to Treasure Jesus Starts with Us – “How about your heart? Have you been failing to treasure Jesus, even as you teach your children about Him?”

Why the End of Marriage in Eternity in Good News

Why the End of Marriage in Eternity in Good News“The age to come is not only an improvement over the worst of this world, but over the best. I say this for three reasons...”

Clinging to the Crutch

Clinging to the Crutch“Some people say, derisively, that Christianity is a crutch.  And to that I say Amen.  Glory Hallelujah.  Give me that crutch.  Because I am crippled.  More like paralyzed, actually.”

Sanctification — Belonging, not Behaving

Sanctification — Belonging, not Behaving“Sanctification is much bigger than simply becoming more like Jesus. As glorious as that is, sanctification is God’s planned cosmic restoration happening before our very eyes.”

8 Reasons to Love Sound Doctrine

8 Reasons to Love Sound Doctrine – “Here are a few reasons we should love sound doctrine.”

God is Not Ashamed of You

God is Not Ashamed of You“You see, God’s not disgusted with you. He doesn’t wince when you pray. He doesn’t blush when you admit to someone who asks if you believe in him. He’s unashamed of you. He loves you. He’s loved you before he created the world.”

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Do You Look Like Your Father?

Do You Look Like Your Father? – “All of us are meant to bear the glorious family resemblance.”

Why God? Why is This Happening?

Why God? Why is This Happening? – “Everywhere you turn you are hearing of different tragedies happening all around us. There are hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding, fires, wars, rumor of wars, shootings, suicides...”

Why the Department of Justice’s Religious Liberty Guidance Matters – “It has been a great week for religious freedom – the protection for the conscience rights of every American of every faith and the free exercise thereof.”

Why the Department of Justice’s Religious Liberty Guidance Matters “It has been a great week for religious freedom – the protection for the conscience rights of every American of every faith and the free exercise thereof.”

Hypocrisy on Display in Hollywood and in Politics

Justice and Mercy No Matter the Cost

Justice and Mercy No Matter the Cost – “This issue of human beings hating other humans who aren’t like them is so endemic to our nature nothing should be clearer but that the church doesn’t buy that. The church hopes in Jesus. We find our identity in Jesus and whatever color or ethnicity we are, we are in Jesus — one hope, one church.”

The Fearless Pacifist: Menno Simons (1496–1561)

The Fearless Pacifist: Menno Simons (1496–1561) – This is one of my favorite church history personalities. If you are familiar with the contemporary Mennonites, you may be surprised to learn that the group’s founder started as a Catholic priest who had never read the Bible.

Friday, October 6, 2017

The Holiness of Small Things

The Holiness of Small Things – “In the midst of these phases of life, do we humbly seek the small things of holiness? Or are our hearts longing only for the days when we’re authoring books on holiness, speaking in auditoriums on holiness, or finally getting our degree so we can go and do something holy?”

What If Prayer Makes Anxiety Worse?

What If Prayer Makes Anxiety Worse? – “This is why I still pray…or try to pray…in the midst of darkness. Because eventually the gospel wins out and God breaks through. It happened with Bunyan and it happens with me.”

Weapons in the Fight Against Anxiety and Fear

Weapons in the Fight Against Anxiety and Fear“The desire to know why things are happening in our life and even more so to control things in our life is one of the greatest killers of contentment. It also proves to be one of the greatest engines of anxiety.”

The Pointlessness of Vegas is Its Point

The Pointlessness of Vegas is Its Point – “Forget your conspiracy theories, which are coming thick and fast. Forget your sociological investigations, and the handwringing over US gun control. The sheer meaningless of the action is its meaning.”

Thursday, October 5, 2017

10 Promises for Your Bible Reading

10 Promises for Your Bible Reading – “I need God’s help when I come to his Word. We need God’s help. Only he can overcome the shallows of our weariness and enlighten our clouded hearts with his truth. He actually promises to do these things when believers read their Bibles.”

Flourishing Friendships in Your Church

Flourishing Friendships in Your Church – “In their book, How Should We Develop Biblical Friendship?, Joel Beeke and Michael Haykin point out a good way to look at our friendships: concentric circles of mutual trust and knowledge.”

Use Globalization for the Gospel

Use Globalization for the Gospel  - “The four corners of the world are now in your neighborhood.”

Enjoying God Fuels Doing Good

Enjoying God Fuels Doing Good – “Doing good to others isn’t icing on the cake of Christianity. It’s an essential ingredient. And at the same time, genuinely doing others good doesn’t happen by human strength alone. Mere willpower will never be the answer.”

The Hole in the World

The Hole in the World “Hurricanes come, and fires and earthquakes and floods and debilitating diseases. Evil people harm others in acts of shocking cruelty. Worst of all, death is inevitable, for ourselves and for everyone we love. We live our lives fearing future losses and grieving past ones.”

11 Ways Engaged Couples Should Deal with Finances Now

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Hard Road is Where You'll Find the Lord

The Hard Road is Where You'll Find the Lord – “Here is something worth review: following Christ doesn’t result in a life without difficulty. Trials are normative, and pain is God’s chosen way to work out holiness and dependence in our lives. He is a vinedresser who carefully prunes every branch. He is a loving Father who disciplines all his children.”

Look Up: Trading Introspection for Awe

Look Up: Trading Introspection for Awe – “Looking to Jesus is the best and surest way to become more like him. It is, therefore, a serious mistake to think that we grow in the Christian life by focusing on our sins and struggles. A biblical approach to transformation is not fundamentally introspective and self-focused, but Christ-ospective and gospel-focused.”

Where are you on the Adultery Trail?

Where are you on the Adultery Trail? “Adultery is ugly. But before David thought about the act of adultery with Bathsheba in this famous story, there were two other kinds of adultery he had already committed.”

The Christian, the World, and the Authority of Christ in Our Lives

The Christian, the World, and the Authority of Christ in Our Lives – “In light of this mess we are in let me present three questions every Christian should ask themselves.”

In the U.S., 110 Million S.T.D. Infections

In the U.S., 110 Million S.T.D. Infections – This is almost beyond belief and speaks to the sexual promiscuity in our society. “At any given time, there are an estimated 110 million sexually transmitted infections in the United States.”

God Is with You in Your Panic Attack

God Is with You in Your Panic Attack – “Panic attacks have been a source of both grief and grace. Grief, because they are terrifying and painful and disorienting and exhausting. Grace, because through them, God has humbled my proud heart and taught me to trust less in myself and more in Him. When Asaph says, “My flesh and my heart may fail me, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever,” boy, do I get it.”

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

3 Ways to Pray for Las Vegas: It’s a Powerful (Not Political) Act for Christians

3 Ways to Pray for Las Vegas: It’s a Powerful (Not Political) Act for ChristiansPrayer is not an empty gesture; it's how Christians first respond to tragedy.

Do You Delight in God’s People?

Do You Delight in God’s People? “Why would it be that you, a professing Christian, would find more joy in people who find no joy in what is your primary joy? What would that mean?” 

Saving the Gospel: A Helicopter View of Galatians

Saving the Gospel: A Helicopter View of Galatians – This is an important message in a world where, “Almost three-quarters of Americans (73%) say they are a Christian. However, 55% believe that if a person is generally good, or does enough good things for others during their life, they will earn a place in heaven, that good works are sufficient for eternal life.”

10 Things You Should Know about Temptation

10 Things You Should Know about Temptation “Let’s look at ten things we should all know about the nature of temptation and how to defeat it.”

Flee from the Darkness

Flee from the Darkness – “Many women think that adultery happens when the passion for their husband is at war with their passion for someone else. But adultery really happens when your passion for the power and presence of God in your life is at war with the passions of lust and self-indulgence.”

Don’t Be Weirder than You Have To Be

Don’t Be Weirder than You Have To Be“The point is that we shouldn’t be weirder than we have to be. Whilst we cannot compromise on sharing the gospel itself, we must think very carefully about how we are coming across when we do it. Is our very approach to evangelism going to put people off even before we have said anything at all?”

Monday, October 2, 2017

Trusting Jesus with Things We Can’t Control

Trusting Jesus with Things We Can’t Control – “Each day, it seems like we have more reasons to feel angst, anger, and anxiety. Jesus, in our heart of hearts, help us really believe you are "the ruler of the kings of the earth," and of all premiers, presidents, and potentates; and of all suffering, sorrows, and storms.”